The Power of Queer Film in Troubled Times - Raindance

Queer film is a unique cultural space. Like any film, queer films should challenge, open and move us. As Raindance founder Elliot Grove put it in his statement ahead of the 2018 Raindance Film Festival, we believe in “films that push, bend, impel our future toward the world we want to live in.” Our queer film selection is very much a part of that vision.

Queer film in action

At is best, queer film is, like the queer community, inherently political. It should ruffle some feathers and speak truth to power. It should also be an illustration of queer lives in their complexity: think of recent movies such as The Kids are All RightLove is Strange, and Weekend, and you have a quiet depiction of contemporary existence that is truthful, touching, and merely by the power of those lives being on screen, legitimises further queer lives in the cultural landscape.

Films such as Gods and Monsters, the Oscar-winning film Milk, or the BIFA-winning Pride will tackle the politics of queer lives and bring into light the history of the gay movement to reflect into our own times.

This is what stellar queer films of years past have done. And now, as it ever was, our mission at Raindance 2018 is to uncover the best of the best of independent film, and that includes our queer film strand.

Selecting queer film

This year, the festival programming team received an amazing number of submissions: 8,929 films from 118 countries. So how to choose the best of the best among those numerous choices?

Raindance has always been in favour of showcasing films that are polarising, that can’t leave the audience apathetic. After all, apathy is our greatest enemy in these troubled times. “For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.”

This is how we’ve selected the films in the queer film strand.

This year’s Queer Film strand will once again showcase outstanding creations from the LGBTQ+ community. In this strand, we will show the incredibly exciting George Michael: Freedom – Director’s Cut, by George Michael and David Austin, which is nominated for best UK Film.

Dykes, Camera, Action! is an outstanding introduction to lesbian cinema and provides a history of queer film from a lesbian perspective that explores both mainstream work and arthouse cinema.

Another historical look into the queer community will be provided by Ruminations, an endearing dive into the life of Rumi Missabu, the founder of San Francisco based theatre group The Cockettes. Finally, Kill The Monsters is an artful and sensitive look into a polyamorous relationship tackling both the triviality and the hardships of contemporary romance which is not to be missed.

How you can help

Check out our extraordinary line-up and the highlights according to Screen International.

Our Industry Forum features Bigger than Binary: Queer Art and Activism, a panel discussing queer identity, activism, and representation in the industry. Buy tickets here.

You can be a volunteer at the festival! More info here.

How to attend:
Passes > Here
What’s On + Tickets > Here
Virtual Reality > Here



Baptiste is a writer hailing from the part of France where it is always sunny. After a stint in politics and earning his Master's Degree in Management, he was a marketing intern for the 23rd Raindance Film Festival in 2015, then joined the team permanently in 2016 as the Registrar of the MA in Filmmaking. He is passionate about diversity in film, which he researches and writes about extensively. He is the producer of the hit webseries "Netflix & Kill" and the multi-award-winning short film "Alder", as well as a writer for stage and screen. His short film "U Up?" is currently in pre-production.